ABC 123(4)s of NaNo: Y is for Young Adult

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Y is for Young Adult, which happens to be the category I write.  There seems to be a lot of confusion about what it is and what it isn’t. I’m going to give you my take on it.  Novels written for the young adult category shouldn’t be dumbed down stories or vocabulary.  They are stories of teens/young adults who are coming of age, who are learning about themselves, who are over coming trials and tribulations to become “adults”.  While most people will tell you these novels should be sans cussing, sans sex, sans dark themes, I have to disagree. Do you watch the news? Do you surf the net? Do you see the kinds of things “kids” are going through these days? Maybe you remember from your own adolescence.  Teens curse, the explore their sexuality, they tempt fate by doing dangerous things like playing chicken, taking drugs, thinking themselves immortal. There is a dark side to life that many of them are living through, so don’t feel like your books aimed at young adults need to be all butterflies and rainbows and happy endings.  While there is nothing wrong with those things, it could make your work come off as predictable and unrealistic. Personally, I would probably shy away from excessive pointless cursing and explicit sex scenes, but that doesn’t mean my work is completely devoid of sex and foul language.

It’s been a reoccurring theme in these NaNo blog posts, but I’ll say it again: Don’t be afraid to make your characters real.  We are not perfect specimens, nor should your characters be, unless of course that is their affliction in the story.

Day 25: The holiday is over for the U.S. crowd. Your excuses of cooking and cleaning are gone. Get to writing. There are only FIVE days left. 1,2,3,4, FIVE people. Get on it. You’re so close!

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